3964 Class by Gioconda

This week, completing a dozen Listener appearances in as many years, Gioconda gave us an enjoyable puzzle in which the method of entry for each answer was given indirectly, and had to be deduced. Entry methods corresponded to various characteristics such as might be found in a class of children. These were:

[Th] thin (The middle letter is to be removed before entry)
[Fa] fat (one letter must be added in the central position, by transfer from the “thin” answer in the same set)
[Sh] short (light length is one letter too short; last letter must be removed)
[Ta] tall (light length is one letter too long; last cell must be filled by transfer from the “short” answer in the same set)
[Di] disruptive (Answer must be jumbled)
[Av] average (Entry is normal).

Misprinted letters could be arranged to give CANDICE, the name of the teacher.

The main difficulty was that 11, 17 and 39 Across could not be completed unless solvers realised that letters had to be transferred from one answer to another within each set – “thin” answers donating letters to “fat” ones, and “short” answers donating letters to “tall” ones.

Misprints are indicated by [].

22a Spy [Say]  rubbish in southern Spain (5)
[Av] STATE TAT (rubbish), in S (Southern) + E (Spain)
34a City is on state soil (5)
[Fa] LAND LA (City) + ND (state, ie North Dakota)
35a For example almost invalid reverse gymnasts' move (4)
[Sh] LUNGE EG (For example) + NUL(L) (almost invalid)
19d Seeds from Perth once taken on board ship (6)
[Di] STANES TANE (old form of TAKEN) inside SS ie on board ship
23d Bible version is French adult scriptures (7)
[Ta] AVESTA AV (Bible version) + EST (French word for “is”) + A (adult)
25d Act of clipping beside unfortunate nurse (6)
[Th] TONSURE TO (beside) + anagram of NURSE

6a Old name of theatre is put in plaster frame (6)
[Di] TENTER NT (Old name of theatre) in TEER (plaster)
14a Girl returns bud (4)
[Ta] GEM MEG (Girl) reversed
17a Middle East backing University radical under house arrest? (7)
[Fa] EMURED ME (Middle East) reversed + U (University) + RED (radical)
37a Record old companion's age (4)
[Th] EPOCH EP (Record) + O (old) + CH (companion … of honour)
2d Observe hat on organ lover [cover] (6)
[Av] EYE (Observe) + LID (hat)
9d Position city unit outside Troy (5)
[Sh] ECARTE EC (city, ie postcode for City of London) + ARE (unit) containing T (Troy)

11a Seeing spot in Gabon ... (7)
[Fa] EYEING EYE (spot) + IN + G (Gabon)
24a ... time in South of France for boss (5)
[Ta] STUD T (Time) in SUD (French word for South)
1d Poor share in royal practice (8)
[Sh] REHEARSAL HEARS (anagram of SHARE) inside REAL (royal)
28d TV presenter uses this car going on copper energy (6)
[Th] AUTOCUE AUTO (car) + CU (copper) + E (energy)
32d Steers Home Secretary round wood (5)
[Di] HELMS HS (Home Secretary) containing ELM (wood)
36d German shout of triumph for Greek [creek] (3)
[Av] GIO G (German) + IO (shout of triumph)

18a Steer erratically for old harbour (4)
[Sh] RESET Anagram of STEER
40a List rebuilt store beside river (6)
[Di] ROSTER Anagram of STORE, + R (river)
5d Following directions muddled Rees turns up nosh [nose] (6)
[Av] SNEERS S+N (South + North ie directions), + EERS (anagram of REES)
13d Enticed by trumpet boy (6)
[Ta] LURED LUR (trumpet) + ED (boy)
29d Councillors cuddle girl tin workers (6)
[Th] CANNERS CRS (Councillors) containing ANNE (girl)
30d Stain boy's back (5)
[Fa] SMIT TIM’S (boy’s) reversed

16a Short period of calm after European month (5)
[Fa] ELUL LUL(L) (Short period of calm) after E (European)
31a Flap United's banner [banned] (4)
[Av] TABU TAB (flap) + U (United)
38a Queen and Empress given drug in poison (5)
[Di] RICIN RI (Queen and Empress) + C (drug) + IN
3d Skilful sex rout confused director at first (7)
[Sh] DEXTROUS Anagram of SEX ROUT, after D (director)
7d Way of escape back to front for birds (6)
[Ta] EMEUS MEUSE (way of escape) with last letter moved to front
26d Alloys tangled nest to pillar (6)
[Th] LATTENS TENS (anagram of NEST) after LAT (pillar)

1a Dances with bent dowagers losing gravity (6)
[Th] REDOWAS Anagram of DOWAGERS, less G (gravity)
21a Vessels produced by busy people holding two gallons (7)
[Di] DOGGERS DOERS (busy people), containing GG (G = gallon)
33a Prisoner perhaps in rough team (7)
[Ta] INMATE IN + MATE (anagram of TEAM)
39a Clips beginnings of jewellery upon war god (7)
[Fa] JUMARS JU (First letters of JEWELLERY UPON), + MARS (war god)
4d Get Ali tarnished decoration (5)
[Sh] AIGLET Anagram of GET ALI
8d Note beginning of turning spool [spoil] (3)
[Av] RET RE (note) + T (first letter of TURNING)

12a Spot American covered in honey (5)
[Fa] MEAL A (American) inside MEL (honey)
15a Defensive piece coming from news agency base (4)
[Sh] TASSE TASS (news agency) + E (base)
27a Surround lake in space hollow (7)
[Di] ENCLAVE L (lake), inside EN (space) + CAVE (hollow)
41a Directions for letters? (6)
[Ta] ESSES E+S+S+E+S (East, South, South, East, South ie directions)
10d Sodium smell is starting to develop (6)
[Th] NASCENT NA (Sodium) + SCENT (smell)
20d To make tubes [tunes] outlay must cover scale density (8)
[Av] MELODISE MISE (outlay) containing ELO (scale) + D (density)